In recent weeks, I’ve been experiencing one of those graced moments that come along every so often in one’s spiritual journey. In short, the Good Lord has been calling me to a greater level of spiritual integrity.
I was beginning to ‘pamper’ myself in ways that were slowly focusing on self, rather than the Lord. Such infringements lead to transgressions, as well as begin to cut off the Light of grace.
So, I began making adjustments where needed. One other necessary component during this time has been a greater frequency in receiving the sacrament of penance. In short, the Lord was sharpening my conscience to lead me closer to Himself.
I keep recalling the words of Jesus: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Such sharp instruction helps me be honest about the areas of indifference and laxity in my spiritual life.
Then this morning I read in the Psalm 101: “I will walk in the way of perfection.” Yet another confirmation the Lord is calling me to a greater attention to the small details of daily life; namely, to grow in love.
The Office of Readings today was from St. Gregory of Nyssa’s Treatise On Christian Perfection:
For the purity of Christ and the purity that is manifest in our hearts are identical, Christ’s purity, however, is the fountainhead; ours has its source in him and flows out of him…
The mind of Christ is the controlling influence that inspires us to moderation and goodness in our behavior.”
That reminded me of a conversation with my dad earlier this week, when he recalled the words of his father: “All things in moderation – that’s the key.”
Finally, today’s Gospel gives yet another such instruction from Jesus: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7)
This Year of Faith and the New Evangelization are calling all of us to a greater sensitivity to the Sacred in our world and in our life. This Sacred is the very presence of Christ, around us – within us – within others.
Each of us are called to a greater sensitivity of the Presence of Jesus within our lives. So much in our world is crass. How does our use of media and entertainment find us falling in the trap of ‘throwing what is holy to the dogs?” Are there ways in which we are being called to spend our time in a manner that nourishes the Sacred within us, rather than exposing it to secular winds that can extinguish it?
There is such an integration of the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual aspects of the human person. When we tend to each of them properly, (subjecting them to the Kingship of Christ), they work even more in sync for our overall wellbeing. The perfection that Jesus speaks of is found only in Him and His Kingdom.
When we seek first His Kingdom, we find greater clarity of purpose, greater peace and joy; greater faith, greater hope, greater love. These are God’s deep desires for us, and they are all found in Christ.